Navigating Employee Relations After Buying a Business
Rules of Engagement: Navigating Employee Relations After Acquiring a Business
Navigating employee relations after buying a business can be a difficult task. Depending on the terms of the sale and the state of the business, there could be a lot of employee changes during the first several months of ownership. Whether you decide to make big changes, little changes, or no changes, dedicating time to employee relations should be one of your top priorities.
One of the first steps to take with employee relations is setting up group and individual meetings as quickly as possible. The employees of the business that you just purchased will likely have many questions and concerns about where the business is going. Many will have fears about losing their job. While you should not make any promises you can’t keep, make an effort to sympathize with your new employees and ease their anxiety. As the new owner of this business, remember that open communication is key to a smooth transition plus you could potentially gather a lot of valuable information from some of the long-term employees.
In these meetings, share the reasons for your excitement about the business. You did just buy it! Make an effort to show your concern for each employee, in addition to clarifying their important role in the success of the business. What are your short and long-term goals? Anything that is not confidential should be shared, and questions and comments addressed. Acknowledge the potential difficulties of a transition period, but make sure you have a plan to address any concerns or potential resistance from the employees. During your time spent navigating employee relations you are likely to encounter as many supporters as dissenters. Be sure you are prepared for both!
After the initial meetings, schedule follow-up meetings for the next month that will help fine-tune the transition process. Any special tasks, reporting, or other points of assistance can be addressed in the follow-up meetings. Depending on the nature of the business, it could take a long time to learn the intricacies of the day-to-day functions. Either way, communicating and developing a trusting relationship with your new employees will set you up for success both in the short and long term. They want a smart, confident, and considerate leader. You can be that leader, but understand it will not happen overnight.
There is so much to absorb after buying a business and managing employee relations is one of the most pressing and often time-consuming responsibilities. Whether it is a small, medium, or large business, smoothing employee relations is essential to the success of the business under your leadership and ownership. If you are looking for other business opportunities or are interesting in selling your business, look no further than Sunbelt Business Brokers. As the world’s largest business brokerage firm, we have the knowledge and experience necessary to make things happen in the best way possible. Contact us today to get started!
After obtaining his MBA, John began his career at PriceWaterhouseCoopers, the international accounting and consulting firm, and subsequently joined Progressive Corporation, a large U.S. based insurance company. John was a Division President at Progressive and subsequently became the CEO of a New York based private equity investment company. In 2001, he founded MMI as a platform investment company and MMI has subsequently acquired 15 additional companies.